Senior Olympics boost activity, spirits

Senior Olympics boost activity, spirits

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Several people went home with medals Friday after the annual Senior Olympics in Lamar County.

The Olympics, created to keep senior citizens active and social, consisted of eight teams from nursing home and rehabilitation centers across the Pine Belt.

"It is something that is loved and looked forward to every year by the seniors in our community," Lamar Health Care's Jean Claire Monroe said.

The Olympians compete in activities ranging from wheelchair races to bean bag tosses and Frisbee throws to ambulatory walking races and relays.

"People at this stage in their lives really don't know that they can do something a little bit more than lay around or sit around in the wheelchairs or what have you," Lamar resident Louis Nicolosi said.

Nicolosi is recovering in Lamar's rehabilitation unit after a spinal cord injury, and he said the Olympics were not only good for his physical recuperation but also spiritual. He laughed as he told of clearing the hallways at the home in order to practice for the wheelchair race.

"You take off, and you say, 'Move out of the way! I'm practicing!'," he said.

Hospice Advantage sponsored the event, and they said although they do not service these athletes currently, they may do so one day.

"We are very patient centered," said Hospice's Whitney Thomas. "Our motto is to do whatever we can to increase the quality of life when they're on our service."

There was an award ceremony for the games, as well as painting and crafts, banners, t-shirts and spirit.